Random Stuff for Saturday

  • Sometimes I look at the latest books on Amazon and don’t feel like reading any of them. That means returning once again to the comfort zone of books on my shelves where there’s always something to re-read. This week it’s Gods and Generals, Jeff Shaara’s prequel to his father’s book about Gettysburg, The Killer Angels. Gods and Generals follows the Union and Confederate principals at the point when secession occurs as a knee-jerk response to Lincoln’s election.
  • Finally, after months of trying to get a company to commit to the job and then actually schedule it, we have plumbers working to redo all of the major pipes at the other house on our property, the one that was occupied by my wife’s late parents. I hope we’re making real progress with this necessary part of the process of getting the house to the point where we can lease it or sell it.
  • Grist ran a strong article called “Hurricane Ian was a powerful storm. Real estate developers made it a catastrophe.”  It points out that the so-called dredge and fill process of preparing the land for new housing development is environmentally unsound and creates an unsafe (vulnerable to storm surge) location for the homeowners who flock to new homes near the coast. I posted a link on my Facebook profile and so far nobody has looked at it. The article points out that “These vulnerable cities only exist thanks to the audacious maneuvers of real estate developers, who manipulated coastal and riverine ecosystems to create valuable land over the course of the 20th century. These attempts to tame the forces of nature by tearing out mangroves and draining swamps had disastrous environmental consequences, but they also allowed for the construction of tens of thousands of homes, right in the water’s path.”
  • I know your eyes will glaze over, but we’ve been making a squash casserole for years that fits our comfort food addiction. It’s easy to make and lasts for three dinners with only two of us in the house–not counting the cats. Years ago, we used it as a side dish. But as we’ve aged, we have less room for big meals.

–Malcolm